As part of Encyclopedia Britannica Films’ Social Studies offering they produced a collection of regional films. This 25-minute film is the examination of the factors that are responsible for the Midwest’s success as America’s breadbasket and manufacturing center. The film was shot in 1968, a time when most automobiles manufactured for domestic use were made in the Midwest with Midwestern parts. Iron ore was mined in Minnesota’s Mesabi Range and shipped across the Great Lakes to steel mills in Michigan. The car’s speedometer was put together in Wisconsin, a plant in Ohio made the tires. All was shipped to the final assembly lines in Michigan. Along with this the film follows an Illinois farmer who grows the corn to fatten beef for market. At the same time with all this prosperity, we see overcrowded cities, poverty and the rising cost of farming.
This film was shot in a fast-moving and verite style of cinema.
Produced, written and directed by: Thomas G. Smith
Academic collaborator: Charles Davis, Ph. D., Department of Geography,
The University of Michigan.
Sound: Thomas Chamberlin